Firsteel, the specialist coil metal coating company based in Walsall, is undergoing a planned £1m investment programme. Part of this investment is in people, and bringing on board apprentices to train in the specialist skills required for the future of the business.
One of only two specialist suppliers of this nature in the UK, Firsteel supply the automotive and bakeware industries amongst others, processing steel and coating it with non-stick paint to make baking trays found in every supermarket, as one example.
Their specialist skills are now being passed on to their apprentices, on a programme set up with Walsall College. Two are already in place, with more planned. One is the grandson of a current employee and they are really getting stuck in to this great opportunity to learn a trade.
Jayden Welsh from Walsall took up the opportunity at 16 years old, and has joined his grandad at Firsteel. He said, “It’s a good role that I’ve got, and the people here are nice to me! I’d rather do something practical, and I’m enjoying working with people and learning. I’m currently working in Goods In, helping to get things through to production.”
Kyle Venibles, 17 and also from Walsall, works as an apprentice on the finishing line. He added, “I wanted to work hands on as soon as I could, and wanted to learn a skill so I’ve gone into Engineering. With an apprenticeship you can learn on the job, and everyone here is sound as a pound. I want to progress to be Team Leader in the future.”
General Manager Paul Didlick commented, “We’ve been really impressed with these young people and how well they’ve taken to their roles – they’re good workers, and have fitted into the team really well.
“Investing in our team is really important to us going forward, and we’re already looking for more apprentices. As a company we’ve been operating since 1957, so we’ve had people retire from here. It’s really important to us to pass these traditional skills on, and keep our highly trained workforce full for years to come!”